Being a student is no excuse for killing the planet. Today’s technology is making it both harder to notice, yet easier to resolve our current climate and environmental crises by exploring trendy and convenient alternatives to some of the world’s harshest planet-killing products. Being sustainable and eco-friendly doesn’t have to require effort, time, or money…in fact it can actually SAVE you these things.
Here’s a look at how you, my fellow broke college student, are f*cking up the environment and you didn’t even realize it:
Haven’t you heard that bath bombs are in now? Baths tend to use far less water than showers, so you should really get in on all the mermaid water fun! Your shower-length can be a great way to de-stress after a long day or a hard workout, but you’re wasting a ton of clean water resources. A hot bath can give you the same relaxants and allow you to watch your favorite show, or even read! As for other water-based fun like shower sex? Probably not worth the awkward leg positioning OR the environmental burden you’re placing on our clean water supply. Cut your showers down to 5 minutes or less and save the sexytime for the bedroom.
2. Water Bottles
San Francisco just announced it will be the first city in America to ban the sale of water bottles. GOOD THING. Using plastic water bottles has the massive cost of taking three liters of water to produce one liter of bottled water. Not to mention less than 5% of the 1.5 million tons of plastic is recycled. You can get approximately 450 gallons of tap water for the price of one bottled water. There’s really no good excuse considering all the adorable options for reusable bottles these days. It’s time to start caring and up your style-game while you’re at it. It’s a global movement you totally want to be a part of.
3. Your Dorm Decorations
Cute fairy lights hanging around your room can be adorable except for the fact that you’re likely guilty of leaving them on 24/7. Reduce your energy intake by opting for a cute lamp that you’re more likely to shut off when you exit the room; unplug it for extra electricity reduction (you’ll hear more about ghost power later!)
Cut down your shopping habits in the best way possible: buy more, use less bags. With most places implementing a 5 cent per plastic bag charge, it is easier now than ever to help support environmental sustainability. By waving the 5 cents off like it’s no big deal, you’re not only harming animals, natural resources, and those pretty laptop screen saver landscapes that you love looking at, you’re also spending money that totally adds up over the years.
5. Your Coffee Addiction
Most coffee places give at least a 10 cent discount if you bring a reusable mug. If you did that for 2 weeks, you’d have yourself a free coffee. This also applies to parts of campus where you buy food; servers would be happy to fill up your Tupperware for you, and some places may even reduce the charge from the paper container!
6. Meat-free Monday
Not only do you get a +10 level up on the hipster scale for cutting some meat from your diet on Mondays but agribusiness is the primary driver of carbon and methane emissions (really bad chemicals for climate). Think of how whack the weather was this winter, and then think about how you could have been a part of that climate mess from ordering extra bacon during that hungover breakfast last Sunday. Eating meat is a bigger issue than just animal rights, the production systems can really damage our environment!
7. Skincare products
Veto bath beads from your hygiene routine. Although these products are no illegal, you might have some still kicking around the house. Heavy products like bath exfoliating beads don’t actually help your skin anyway. There are a ton of perfumes and plastics within them and you would be far better off choosing a natural skin care remedy. Try cinnamon and honey to reduce acne and save our cute little globe from filling up with toxic material before it’s too late!
8. Ghost power
Not only will leaving your straightener plugged in cost you the risk of a fire, but you’ll also save your roomies a few bucks on the utility bill by keeping it unplugged. This applies to anything from unplugging your printer at night, to your phone charger while you’re out for the day. Small changes that truly won’t affect your day to date could seriously go a long way.
9. Brushing your teeth
Did you know that one of the biggest ways that humans waste water is simply by not turning off the tap when brushing their teeth? Let’s say you’re brushing for 2 minutes and you leave the water running because well, you’re busy and you didn’t think it was a big deal. It is. If you turned off that tap every morning and night while brushing your teeth, you could save up to 200 gallons of water a month.
Now, most of the environmental damage that we’ve done can’t really be Crl+Alt Deleted from our lives, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to start cleaning this place up for the next generations. It’s up to YOU to take on the responsibility to make living green cool again, and I know that millennials are the face of the future, there’s no bunch more capable to do the job.